Why I Write: The Fogel Family Massacre 1 Year Later
Apologies for my light recent posting schedule. I hope to get back to posting more regularly soon. I don’t have much time to write now, but I couldn’t let leave the following unwritten today:
Today, I talked to my high school class about the 1-year anniversary of the brutal murder of the Fogel family.
We spoke of 18 and 19-year old cousins who went from room to room in the Fogel home, destroying a family as they slept in their beds. And of a 12-year-old girl who came home to find her family and her world destroyed.
- …that Amjad & Hakim Awad robbed Tamar Fogel of her family and her childhood, and are considered heroes of a sick society, yet she retained every ounce of courage her parents imbued in her, as she prepared to become a mother to her 2 surviving brothers.
We spoke of the difference between killing and murder…
- …that in the Ten Commandments, it does not say Lo Taharog (Don’t Kill), but rather Lo Tirzach (Don’t Murder).
- …that deriving joy from plunging a blade into the heart of a child and slitting the throat of an infant is incontrovertibly murder at point blank range, while the IDF goes out of its way to preserve civilian life.
- …that Israel’s enemies often celebrate the murder of innocents, while Israel sees the killing of Arab civilians (in Gaza, Lebanon, etc.) as a profoundly tragic consequence of the dual war crimes (shooting at civilians from among civilians) committed by her enemies, in an attempt to maximize death on both sides.
- …that Israel’s enemies often accuse the IDF of massacres and cold-blooded murder, yet when the truth eventually comes out (sometimes more than a decade later), the accusations invariably prove false.
We spoke of the demonization and dehumanization of residents of Judea & Samaria…
- …that calling it the West Bank is the hostile political act, while calling it Judea & Samaria is the neutral, historically (including recent history) correct term.
- …that ‘historical’ ‘Palestinian’ cities like Nablus (formerly the Roman Neopolis) never seem to have historical Arabic names. Funny, that.
We spoke of the recent stoning attack on Zehava Weiss and many others…
- …that this kind of attempted murder is usually characterized by Israel’s enemies and their useful idiot enablers as kids throwing harmless pebbles.
- …that when I was on patrol in Hevron years ago, I had a cinderblock land a few feet away from me after being dropped from a few stories up. Also not a pebble.
What I didn’t tell my class was the effect that this horrific event had on me.
In my very first post at Israellycool, I explained why I teach:
Today, in addition to my ‘real’ job, I teach Jewish middle and high-schoolers about Israel at my local, twice-weekly Hebrew School. We are living in a time of profound moral inversion regarding Israel, an especially troubling manifestation of which is the narcissistic preening of pathetically misguided Jews who perversely think that by attacking Israel, they are on the side of the angels.
I see it as part of my mission as a Jewish educator that I not only talk about what a wonderful country Israel is (warts and all), but also that I give my students enough of a factual, historical foundation regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict so as to better prepare them to withstand the fallacious, putrid tsunami of anti-Israel propaganda that awaits them on college campuses, if not sooner.
In teaching them to be both proud of and informed about (I encourage the kids never to leave a question unasked, and to challenge every assertion I make, so they can judge for themselves whether there is substance to my words) Israel, my goal is to help them avoid joining the shameful ranks of foolish, ignorant, vitriol-infused, self-important DoucheBlogging™ Jews when they grow up.
So that’s why I spend a couple days a week teaching local Jewish kids about Israel.
And this is why I write. The tragic events of a year ago served as the catalyst that led me to start writing for public consumption. After the massacre and its all-too-predictable aftermath (Durr! Who says it was Palestinians? The Thai workers did it!), I needed an outlet to express my sadness, anger, & frustration.
After first ranting on Facebook for a few weeks and realizing I was either preaching to the choir or annoying work colleagues (depending on the subgroup I was talking to), I found that outlet in my blog & Twitter page. And as of last December, that outlet includes ranting here at Israellycool, for which I remain grateful to Dave.
While my posts may be a bit sporadic in the near term, this is far too important and meaningful for me to give up. So while you may not see me posting on a daily or every-other-day schedule for a little while, I’m not going anywhere.